For the coming few weeks, I will talk about Japanese noodles. The first one is うどん, thick wheat noodles. It is often served hot as a noodle soup in a mildly flavoured broth, which is made of dashi (stock), soy sauce, and mirin.
The one in the picture is きつねうどん, which translates as “fox udon”. The colour of deep fried tofu topping resembles fox skin, thus it’s called “fox” udon. If you use konbu (kelp) dashi, きつねうどん is completely “vegan.”
Other common toppings include tempura (often prawn), kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), chicken and a raw egg (often called 月見 – moon viewing). A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. 七味唐辛子（しちみとうがらし/ a type of chilli powder) can be added to taste.
The texture of noodles vary from region to region. Inaniwa udon in Akita is very smooth and Sanuki udon in Kagawa is very chewy.
The flavour of broth and topping also vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shouyu), is used in eastern Japan, and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi shouyu), is used in western Japan. Sometimes miso-based soup is used as well.
In summer, udon can be served cold with dipping sauce.
It is one of the most popular lunch dishes in Japan.